- Methods of staying sober and working the 12 Steps

Methods of staying sober and working the 12 Steps




Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober

Methods of staying sober and working the 12 Steps

Postby Dallas » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:19 pm

Alcoholics are notorious for coming up with their own methods of staying sober & working the 12 Steps. However, in the long-run most of those variations fail. There is one tried, true, way to do it that's guaranteed to work every time. You can find it in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous.
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Postby sunlight » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:40 pm

I always hear people talking about "my program".

I gently remind them that it's "THE program".

Thanks for the re-enforcement. :wink:
sunlight
 
Posts: 597
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:03 pm
Location: Denver Co

Postby merckx » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:13 am

I don't have an issue w/ people saying "my program" for recovery. Everyone who works the Twelve Steps should go through them as the book prescribes but that doesn't mean my program looks like your program.

An example would be that some people attend "official" meetings daily, some attend once a week, once a month, or not at all. The reality is that whenever to of us get together for the purpose of furthering recovery it is a meeting.

Each of us has our own filter through which we see and live out the 12 Steps. We all have our own interpretation. (The side note to this is that some people have some interpretations that are based more on convenience or personal opinions than the book) In my mind that turns "The" Program into "My" Program.
merckx
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:14 pm
Location: Indiana

Postby Dallas » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:13 pm

My program is drinking. It doesn't work for sobriety. However... the "AA Program" works very well for me. Whenever I get into "my program"... it isn't long until I get into trouble.

Dallas
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Postby djmnyc » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:18 pm

I don't have a problem with people saying "my program either." I'm a Roman Catholic, so my program involves regularly attending Mass, receiving the Sacraments, and prayer and meditation in the Catholic Tradition. Obviously the Big Book doesn't require that, but it does say that if you are in a religion, practice it.

Some people regularly go back and work steps 1-12 repeatedly. I don't read that into the Big Book. For me, steps 1-9 (especially 4-9) are a one shot deal, and then you live in steps 10-12. However, I don't think it's wrong to cycle through the steps. As somebody else mentioned, some people go to meetings more often than others. I go to meetings once a week. I also bring a meeting to an institution, but not everybody has to do that.

The Big Book is 164 pages, and not always that specific. When the Big Book was written, there weren't regular AA meetings all over the world. There was no GSO. A lot has been developed in AA that is not specifically in the Big Book, but is still a valid part of the AA program. I personally might not have understood exactly how to work the 12 steps from just reading the Big Book. It wasn't terribly clear to me, so I got a lot of help from my sponsor and 12 and 12.

I think the only way to work the program "wrong" would be to not work it at all. To recover AA style, some work on the steps is necessary.
djmnyc
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:58 pm

Postby merckx » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:02 pm

Dallas wrote:My program is drinking. It doesn't work for sobriety.


Let me rephrase that to my program for recovery ... The Twelve Steps allow for a tremendous amount of individuality from person to person. "God as we understood Him" that phraseology in itself allows for a great amount of variance from person to person. How someone understand God will affect how they live out life.

I get the point you are making with your statement but I don't think it can be made universally. In Step Eleven we are asking for knowledge of God's will for our lives and the power to carry it out. In my daily walk with the God of my understanding I want to go past knowing God's will. I want God's will to be my will ... Not that God's will would conform to mine but that my will would conform to His.

I want to desire what God desires for me. I want to be saddened by what grieves that heart of God. I want passion for what He has passion for. I want to love what he loves.

My program for life, the one that I designed, was drinking and drugs. The program that I have adopted (to take up or make one's own) for my life (the one given to me by God), the one designed for me by God, long before the Big Book or even the world was created, does not involve drinking or drugs.

At the end of the day we might be splitting hairs ... we might not be ...
merckx
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:14 pm
Location: Indiana

Postby Dallas » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:09 am

Do you have an explanation for this?

"To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book."


I mean... what is PRECISELY if PRECISELY isn't precisely?

This is: the second sentence... in the forward to the First Edition. In 1939, precisely meant precisely... Bill goes on to state that this WAS the reason... that it was important for them to publish the book.

Why didn't he just write "Hey guys... here's some suggestions and you are free to interpret them what ever way you "understand it"... and I'm sure it will be fine and that it will work for you?

If you look back at the history of "why it was important" to write the Big Book -- what you're saying above... is PRECISELY why they thought it was important to write the book.

The program "the 12 Steps" (which is the program)... was being transmitted by "word of mouth"... and Bill FEARED that it would get interpreted, watered down and changed. He was afraid people would do just what your suggesting above and that is for each person to start saying "Oh. Here's how I think it should work, according to MY UNDERSTANDING."

So... I ask you, what's that sentence mean to you?

"To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book."


Dallas
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Postby merckx » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:24 am

I think what I posted above answers that questions. There are 12 Steps, which are cut and dry, though they require that a person bring their understanding of God to the table. That understanding of God affects how we live and interact with God. In Step Eleven we are given guidelines for what our prayers should include but their are no rote prayers we are supposed to pray.

Dallas in no way, shape, or form am I suggesting in any way that one alters the steps. They should take all of them precisely as prescribed. The steps aren't open for interpretation. God is open for interpretation. If God is open for interpretation, my program might look different from your program. Not in the steps we take but specific actions of living. For instance, in your program it might be okay to have sex outside of marriage, it might not be okay in mine.

Our understanding of God can define the way we are to live ... even down to how we spend our money.

If the Twelve Steps were an outfit comprised of white socks, brown shoes, tan khaki pants, white button up collared shirt tucked in, and a belt ... I am suggesting that we all have on different colored underwear.

Dallas it might be that I am using the wrong words to express what I am trying to say. The 12 Steps are The 12 Steps ... period. You take them as prescribed in the book. The 12 Steps are not open to interpretation, God however is. So with that said, maybe part of THE program is how the individual's interpretation of God colors the way they live.
merckx
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:14 pm
Location: Indiana

Postby Dallas » Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:43 am

I don't have a program. I use AA's program that's described in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. That program works regardless of what someone's ideology of God is. I don't interpret the program in the book. I focus my eyes on the black letters on the white pages and I don't read between the lines. If and when my understanding was different than what's on the page -- I change my understanding. That's what the bottom of pg 58 tells me to do. To Let Go of My Old Ideas Absolutely. That's what works for me, and it's kept me sober for the last 8,912 days in a row... so, I'm not about to change it.

I did approach it as "my program" the first time I came to AA -- and I lasted 5 1/2 months -- before I got so drunk that it took me another six months to get sober again. :lol:

Best wishes to you on a long and happy sobriety! I appreciate you.

Dallas
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Postby Pebbles » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:35 am

Good topic...I love hearing about the solution!!!
Pebbles
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:24 am
Location: Idaho

Next

Return to Help for alcoholics who want to stay sober

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests









.








12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - Methods of staying sober and working the 12 Steps